Disneyland’s Lincoln Warns Us of Dangers Within

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I don’t think I have mentioned in these posts that I am a fanatic for Disneyland (the original in California). Having grown up practically next door to the park, and working there summers during college, I have never gotten the place out of my system.

I was thus thrilled during my recent visit to the park to see that Abraham Lincoln has returned after a several-year absence in the legendary “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.” The President returns in the audioanimatronic form and setting in which he was originally seen in the 1960s, original introductory narrative, graphics, and speech intact, said speech featuring prominently our 16th President’s profound belief in liberty; the American people; and the notion that if America is ever to be destroyed, it will be from within.

You could not be more timely, Mr. President.

This experience took me back to my one and only visit to Walt Disney World in Florida six years ago. A highlight was the Hall of Presidents, a seemingly living gathering of all American Presidents, past and present. I was fortunate to see an audioanimatronic George W. give the keynote address, as the sitting President is granted that honor. Needless to say, I won’t be returning to the great hall as long as an audioanimatronic you-know-who is featured speaker.

But seeing Disneyland’s tribute to Abraham Lincoln got me thinking: Perhaps the Powers-that-Be at Walt Disney World should consider changing things up a bit at the Florida outpost. Perhaps they should grant the speaking position to the certainly deserving President Lincoln.

Think about it, Disney-World-Powers-that-Be, would you please? Imagine Mr. Lincoln, flanked by his presidential colleagues, delivering the same words he shares with us in California:

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty. And the American people, just now, are much in want of one.

What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and our independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms.

Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant, to step the ocean, and crush us at a blow?

Never!

All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer: that if it ever is to reach us, it must spring from amongst us….If destruction be our lot, we, ourselves, must be its authors and finishers. As a nation of free men, we must live through all times, or die by suicide.

“Or die by suicide.” Think about that. And look around.

He turns then to face the current President who stands arrogantly nearby nodding to the adoring masses in his spindly designer suit. The 16th President points a long index finger at the 44th.

“I’m talking to you, Obama,” he growls.

Then, turning back to his audience, he concludes: “Let us have faith that right makes might,” he says, “and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

Ah, well, I can wish upon a star, can’t I?

One Comment

  1. David R. Graham
    Posted August 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I also worked summers at Disneyland (the original) during college. Also parties, vacations and some weekends during the school year. 1963-1965, Flying Saucers, Tomorrow Land, an E Ticket. Grew up Claremont (colleges), then post-secondary at Redlands. During the same years I served as organist for the Lutheran church in Hemet. Then off to Union, Morningside Heights, NYC.